Superior Fall Trail Races Ultra Marathon

26.2 Marathon


The field limit for the Moose Mountain Marathon has been met and registration is now closed.
2013 Moose Mountain Marathon – 26.2 Mile Trail Race:
Race Date: Saturday Sept. 6th 2014
Start Location: Cramer Road (Superior Hiking Trail trail-head off of Cramer Road)
Start Time: 8:00 AM
Shuttle to race start from Caribou Highlands / race finish leaves at 6:45 AM

Quick Stats:
State = Minnesota | Race start is 3.5 hours north of the MSP International Apirport | 26.2 Mile point-to-point 100% trail ultramarathon – 99% single-track |  Founded 1990 |  Elevation Gain 5,500 FT | Elevation Loss 5,500 FT | NET Elevation Change 11,000 FT | 3 Aid Stations | 14 hour cutoff | Field is limited to 200 runners | Reputation as one of the toughest, most scenic and best marked trail 50′s in the country | No lottery or qualifying standard but field limit will be met early.

Moose Mountain Marathon Description and History:
The Moose Mountain Marathon is a point-to-point (100% trail) Marathon which traverses the Sawtooth Mountain Range on the Superior Hiking Trail in the far reaches northern Minnesota .  The course parallels Lake Superior, the greatest freshwater lake in the world, climbs to near 2000′ peaks with breath-taking vistas of the lake and inland forests and crosses countless whitewater rivers and serene streams while meandering through mystic Boreal forests.  The race starts at the Cramer Road Aid Station and finishes at Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen. Runners will have access to three aid stations between the start and finish, and will never go more than 7.1 miles without an opportunity for aid.  This is hands down the most difficult and most scenic marathon in Minnesota and possibly the country.

Registration will open on Saturday March 15th 2014.  You can register online or fill in the online form, print it and mail it in your check.  The fee is $75.00.  Online registration will close on Saturday August 31st 2014 at 11:59 PM or once the field limit has been met. There will be no registration after Sunday August 31st 2014 at 11:59 PM.  There will be no registration at packet-pickup or race-day registration.  Runners registered by August 15th will have their names custom printed on their race numbers, those registering after August 15th will not.

Qualifying Standard:
At this time there is no qualifying standard for entry into the Moose Mountain Marathon – with that being said, runners should research this race prior to registering – this is one of the most difficult marathons in the world.

Field Limit:
2014 field limit for the Marathon was 275 runners.

Refunds – Transfers – Switches:
Entry fees are not refundable under any circumstance, race registrations are not transferable to other participants or to future years races and we do do not allow transfers between distances.  Please consider these factors carefully before registering – thank you.

What you get:
Transportation to the race start from Caribou Highlands.  A well marked course with plenty of aid and tons of friendly, experienced volunteers.  By popular demand, this year all registered runners will receive an awesome Rocksteady Running cotton t-shirt with a killer design as we have been told everyone has enough tech shirts for now – the tech shirt will likely come back in the future.  A wood finisher medallion.  A complimentary post race meal.

The race start is approximately 5 hours north of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Minneapolis has a world class international airport and traveling to the race is a breeze.  There is also an (2nd tier)  airport in Duluth MN.

Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, MN is the race host hotel – the race finishes at Caribou Highlands and the finish-line will be just a short walk to your room. We recommend that you stay here and support Caribou Highlands as they do a great job supporting us!  Special room rates are available if you mention you are a Superior 26.2 Marathon racer. Call 1-800-642-6036 or visit their Website at Caribou Highlands’ address is 371 Ski Hill Road, P.O. Box 99 in Lutsen, MN 55612.

There are many camping options in the area but the best bet is probably one of the Great Minnesota State Parks!  Below is a DNR Map showing all of the state parks on the North Shore.  Gooseberry and Split Rock are very close to the start – Tettegouche is more in the middle between the start and finish and Temperance and Cascade are closer to the finish (although Cascade is on the far-side / past the finish in Lutsen).  Crosby Manitou is in the middle as well but the camping is not very close to Highway 61 – you have to take a lot of back roads to get in and out of there.

Packet Pick-Up
Caribou Highlands Lodge, downstairs conference room.
Friday, September 5, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Saturday, September 6, 7:00 am, at the race start (Cramer Road)

Pre-Race Briefing
Caribou Highlands Lodge, downstairs conference room
Friday, September 5, 7:00 pm

Race Morning Check-in:
Even if you attended packet pickup on Friday Night, you still must check-in on race morning, this is a safety precaution so we can track exactly who started the race .  Check-in will take place at the start-line starting at 7:00 AM.

Bus Transportation to Starting Line
Bus transportation will be available from Caribou Highlands to the Marathon start.  Please plan to be on board at 6:35 am, for a 6:45 am departure.  It is about a 30 minute ride to the race start.  Port-o-potties will be available at the start of the marathon.

Drop Bags
Please keep your drop bags as small as possible.   Your drop bag may be no larger than 15″ L x 10″W x 7.5″ H.  Bring your drop bag(s) to Caribou Highlands Lodge, downstairs conference room between 4:00 and 8:00 pm on Friday, September 5.  All drop bags must have the runner’s name and aid station name clearly printed on the outside of the bag.  All dropbags for aid stations must be brought to the Friday night packet pickup.  1 bag for pre-start gear will be transported from the start at Cramer Road to the dropbag area at Caribou Highlands.  All aid station drop bags will be delivered to the finish area by aid station personnel by 8:30 pm on Saturday.

Know your pace and your approximate finishing time – if you are a slower marathon runner you will need lights to navigate the course and finish the race, plan accordingly.

Weather and Clothing:
Early Sept. in Northern Minnesota – we can have highs in the mid 80′s and lows in the mid 30′s or, believe it or not, a combination of both!  Rain is not uncommon.  Be prepared, watch the forecast and plan accordingly.  The official average high is 65F and the average low is 47F.  Records are 81F and 37F.  One item that we highly recommend for runners is a plastic bag, poncho or rain jacket that you can carry with you for a cold overnight or a down-pour – don’t succumb to a DNF because you did not have the proper clothing!

Race Start
Saturday, September 6, 8:00 am at the Cramer Road Trail Head.  Bus transportation will be available from Caribou Highlands to the Marathon start.  Please plan to be on board at 6:35 am, for a 6:45 am departure.  All runners must check in race morning prior to starting otherwise you are unofficial / not in the race (this is your responsibility!)

Race Numbers:
You must wear your race number and it must be clearly visible at all times.

We  will be using chip timing for the race.   Your chip will be on a velcro strap that you should attach to your right or left ankle only or attached to your shoe – no other spot on your body is acceptable.  You must wear your chip at all times.

Course Markings:
The course will be marked with Orange flags, which will always be on the left hand side of the trail.  For sections encountered at night, the flags will also have reflective strips tied to them.  Danger areas such as cliffs or drop offs will be marked with reflective X’s.  The Moose Mountain Marathon primarily follows the Superior Hiking Trail – you can also look for the offical Superior Hiking Trail signs for assurance that you are on the right trail.  Throughout the race you will encounter intersecting trails and Superior Hiking Trail “Spur-Trails”  - in the Marathon the only time you will ever take a “Spur-Trail” or a trail that is not the superior hiking trail is near the finish – shortly after crossing the Poplar River you will get off of the Superior Hiking trail and will follow orange / reflective flagging into Caribou Highlands / the finish line at the pool behind the building.
*It is unfortunate but is not unheard of at many of the major trail races that course vandalism has occurred and flagging has been intentionally moved or removed by small minded individuals – it is important that you study the course maps prior to running and have a concept of where you are going – also, always remember, you are supposed to be on the Superior Hiking Trail only – except in those specific instances listed above.

Aid Stations.
Our aid stations are manned by volunteers, many of them spending a good part of their weekend out there – please be sure to thank the volunteers!  A complete list of the aid stations can be found HERE
Food and Drink – Aid stations will have the following beverage and food choices available:
(All aid stations) Water, Hammer Heed, Hammer Gel, Soft Drinks, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Potato Chips, Potatoes & Salt, Cookies, Candy, Fruit
(Mile 50 and Later) Soup, Coffee, Misc. Hot-Foods
*If you have special dietary requirements, please make sure to make use of your drop bags.

Pacers are not allowed for the Marathon.  Obviously you can “pace” with another registered runner, but any runner found running with a pacer who is not a registered runner (“a bandit”) will be disqualified.

Due to our past experience with people wearing headphones on trail runs such as these, we discourage their use however we won’t tell you can’t wear them . Full awareness of one’s surroundings, and the ability to communicate with other participants, race volunteers, and trail users unassociated with the event are critical to everyone’s safety.  Please use common sense.

Don’t do it.  If you see some trash someone else has dropped, pick it up.  Keep the trail clean.

Cut-off Times:
The Moose Mountain Marathon has intermediate and race finish cutoff times that will be strictly enforced.  The finish line cutoff for an official finish is 14 hours (Saturday, 10:00 pm).  Intermediate cutoff times are listed in the table below.  All cutoffs will be strictly enforced – we do however reserve the right to pull (or allow to continue) any racer as we see fit – if you are uncomfortable with those terms, consider running another race.

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If You DNF:
Should you need to drop out of the race, remove your number and your chip and give them directly to the HAM radio operators at the aid stations you are dropping at – if you are not sure who that is ask around until you find them.  If you leave the course and fail to notify race officials, you will be asked not to come back.

1st Place Overall Male and Female
1st place Open (age 39 – under) Male and Female
1st place Masters (age 40 – 49) Male and Female
1st place Grand Masters (age 40 – 49) Male and Female
There will be NO duplication of awards, and NO ties. Ties will be broken at the whim of the RD – trust us, you don’t want that! Awards will be presented immediately after the 50 mile awards at approximately 8:00 PM Saturday.

Post-Race Clean-Up:
Caribou Highlands Lodge will furnish shower facilities and towels for runners who are not staying at the lodge.

Post-Race Meal:
We will be a simple / basic bag lunch meal for each runner after the race – please sit and break bread with us and share some stories.

Results will be updated regularly at the finish.  Preliminary results will be available on the website within a couple of days of the finish – final results (with any corrections) will be posted on our website within a few weeks of the end of the race.

Lost and Found
Any personal items left after the race will be donated to a charity or to local runners in need. We will not ship items to you.

We are always looking for them.  Do you have friends and family coming but don’t really need them to follow you around to crew – see if they want to volunteer.  Learn more by visiting the volunteer page.

Superior Hiking Trail Association
The Superior Hiking Trail is one of the premier long-distance single-track hiking trails in the WORLD (not exaggerating).  We cannot thank you all enough for your donations to the SHTA. The trail would not be this well maintained without all your help. Consider becoming a Superior Hiking Trail Association member, it is very affordable and each contribution makes a world of difference.  Learn moreby visiting the Superior Hiking Trail online HERE

Next years race date:

The Moose Mountain Marathon is a Rocksteady Running LLC event and is put on by trail runners for trail runners.  Race Director: John Storkamp